Star Trek (1967): S02E09 – Metamorphosis


Introduction

“Metamorphosis” is the ninth episode of the second season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek.

Written by Gene L. Coon and directed by Ralph Senensky, it was first broadcast on 10 November 1967.

In the episode, a shuttle crew from the USS Enterprise encounters a man out of history and his mysterious alien companion.

Outline

Federation Commissioner Nancy Hedford is being ferried by shuttlecraft to the Enterprise, to be treated for Sukaro’s disease, a potentially fatal condition, before resuming a peacemaking mission. A glowing energy field appears in the shuttlecraft’s path, and pulls it down to a nearby planetoid with an Earth-type atmosphere. All communications are blocked, and the shuttlecraft is totally inoperable.

Soon afterward, a young man calling himself Cochrane appears. He tells the party that he has been marooned on the planet for years and that a damping field is preventing their systems from working. Cochrane takes them to a shelter built from material salvaged from his crashed ship, and in the course of their visit, Kirk notices a glowing mass resembling the phenomenon that brought them to the planetoid. Cochrane calls this entity “the Companion”, and explains that as an old man, he took one last flight, intending to die in space, but his crippled ship was intercepted and rescued by the entity, which restored him to youth and has been keeping him alive since. When he reveals his full name, Kirk, Spock and McCoy are stunned to discover that he is Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of warp drive.

When the Companion attacks Spock as he is working on the shuttle, Spock deduces that the entity is largely composed of electrical energy. Kirk and Spock attempt to disable the Companion with an improvised electrical disruptor, but the Companion retaliates violently, and only Cochrane’s intervention saves Kirk and Spock from being killed.

With Hedford’s condition rapidly deteriorating, Spock modifies the shuttle’s universal translator to communicate with the energy force. Kirk discovers it has a female personality and is in love with Cochrane. The Companion declares that it has stopped all of them from aging, and will keep them there forever as companions for Cochrane. Cochrane, for his part, is disgusted by the idea of an intimate relationship with an alien.

Cochrane summons the Companion again, and Kirk explains that it and Cochrane are too different for true love. The Companion hypothesises about being human and disappears. Moments later, Hedford appears outside the shelter, completely restored to health, and they realise that the Companion has merged with Hedford’s body, which would otherwise have died within moments. Cochrane excitedly talks about his plans for travelling the galaxy, but the Companion/Hedford reveals that its life-force is bound to the planetoid; it cannot leave, so Cochrane chooses to remain with her. When McCoy asks who will complete Nancy Hedford’s mission, Kirk shrugs and says, “I’m sure the Federation can find another woman, somewhere, who’ll stop that war.”

Star Trek TV Series

You can find a full index of Star Trek TV series here.

Star Trek TV Series, Films, and Documentaries

You can find a full index of all Star Trek TV series, films, documentaries here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Ralph Senensky.
  • Writer(s): Gene L. Coon.
  • Production: Desilu Productions (1966-1967) and Paramount Television (1968-1969).
  • Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures (1966-2006), CBS Paramount Television (2006-2007), and CBS Television Distribution (2007-Present).
  • Original Network: NBC.
  • Release Date: 10 November 1967.
  • Running Time: 50 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.